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John Allison
115 followers -
Software Developer, Golfer, New Yorker, Arkansas Razorback fan.
Software Developer, Golfer, New Yorker, Arkansas Razorback fan.

115 followers
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I was planning to write a semi-long post on the "Power of the .GIF" But this photo says it all. We allowed .GIFs at MySpace and it added so much personality to profile photos, comments, shares and everything else. I knew FB was the anti-MySpace and didn't want that kind of Tomfoolery on the network, but I'm glad to see them back here at G+. I think G+ has a nice balance of the serious and the whimsical, and .GIFs are your friend :) Wonder if Twitter will be allowing more rich media inline, or will they hold down the 140 character fort?
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I did TC guest post on how Kevin Rose & others are using G+ as their blog now. One thing not mentioned in the article is that the issues relate as much to Zynga and companies building their web business/presence as much as it does to individuals. For those that don't know, Google invested in Zynga and the obvious implication is that Zynga is going to be a big part of the rumored-to-be-coming G+ games. Anyway, just a little more food for thought. Hope you enjoy :)

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As Invites open up again, it's time for Part Deux of Fun Photos for G+ Members & Fanboys The most popular photo from the last set was the Dos Equis man. In this group ... hmmm. I'm predicting it's the shoe! Updated 6:44 clearly I was wrong. Note to self and bummer: I added captions after the fact and they're not showing up in the stream.
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Fun Photos for Google+ Part II (9 photos)
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Journalist +Liz Gannes contacted me today and asked for an interview. I Googled her and found this interview with +Vic Gundotra and +Bradley Horowitz she did on on the day Google+ launched. I had not seen it before. Liz asks the reasonable question: why did Google launch before the project was polished? (You can't even collapse posts man! haha. That's my issue, not Liz's) But Brad notes that they'd hit a wall in terms of learning what they could without real user testing. Very wise move, in my opinion. Did Google+ expect people to get big groups of followers so quickly? Did they expect conversations to grow so long they'd need to be able to collapse them? Probably not.

And there's definitely a lesson for startups/entrepreneurs in this: it's always good to get users on your product before you go too far. Nine times out of ten, you'll find that your early adopters show you use cases you never dreamed of. Websites are like people. They grow and evolve, but without enough interaction they wither and die. The key for the Google+ team now is to just make sure this thing doesn't grow out of control!

Side note: Both Brad & Vic mention in this early interview that the point is to make Google better--to make Google PLUS. This was my first sense of things I described in my Jul 3rd posting that Mashable turned into a story. I didn't realize the Google team was already describing it that way. Paints a clear picture of their vision and mentions their humility. Nice one / worth the read :)

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Google+ seems like a "reaction" to Twitter/Facebook. But are you starting to see the ways that Google+ just makes Google a better, more integrated set of services? Google already has top-notch products in key categories--photos, videos, office productivity, blogs, Chrome, Android, maps and (duh) search. Can you start to see/imagine what Google+ does for Gmail? Picassa? Youtube? Not to mention search? The +1 system that Google now has control of (unlike Facebook Likes) can really influence and change the nature of their search.

My original vision for MS was that everything got better when it was social--so I tried to build all the super popular things used on the web (blogs, music, classifieds, events, photos) on top of MySpace's social layer. When Yahoo launched 360, MSN launched Spaces, and Google launched Okrut, I was shakin in my boots. But quickly I saw that it's really hard to layer in social to features after the fact. At MySpace we had the luxury of having social first, and building the products on top of that layer. Then I choked and Facebook realized that vision. ;-)

But Google+ really seems to be primed to make good on that original premise--that everything gets better when its social. And unlike FB, Twitter, or anyone else, Google already has the most advanced set of products. And if I can clearly see where this is headed, then I think what we are getting is a much better Google. Does that kill FB/Twitter? Who cares? I'd use all 3, but more importantly, I'll be using Google products I never used, or use them in new, better ways I never used them before.

Oh yah and I love my Google TV :)

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So, it turns out that if you do some digging you can see Google's estimation of the strength of your relationship with other people in your network, or in other words, how much you care about them.

One of the requests your browser issues while loading Plus homepage is to
https://plus.google.com/_/socialgraph/lookup/socialbar/

The reply, in json format, lists your friends and what seems to be a "relationship score". Here's my brother's line, for example:
["Alon Nir",,,36.94789383806835 {{the following fields were redacted}}]

Curiously, the score is not commutative, and my brother sees another (higher) score for me. Which leads to the following app, just waiting to be created, allowing lovers to check how much each "love" the other, kids checking who their parents love more and so on. If you create such an app and become a millionaire - please give me some credit :).

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